5 Photoshop Tips For Beginners

By Lily Cooper
Professional Writing Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Woman working on laptop

Photoshop can be a little overwhelming at first look when you’ve just downloaded the software. There are a lot of different buttons and different things you can do. Plus, sometimes you don’t even know what you do want to do with it or what you can do.

For all the beginners out there or aspiring graphic designers, here are some tips to help you get started on Photoshop:

1. Change Size, Flip and Rotate

To change the size of an image, you first go to edit, click transform, and select the action you want. You can also use Ctrl + T on your keyboard and a box will appear around the image. You can then resize your image by placing the cursor on one of the corners, then dragging the corner while holding the Shift key. Then, press Enter and you’re done.

To flip your image press Ctrl + T and right-click. A window will appear with a few options for rotating and flipping the image. Choose if you want vertical or horizontal and then press enter.

To distort or skew an image, press Ctrl + T then place the cursor on the corner you want to distort. Press Ctrl while holding your mouse down on your desired corner and drag it down to your point, then press Enter to activate.

2. Magnetic Lasso Tool

This tool can be found on the main tool selection and looks like the name, a lasso. This is a favorite for some when editing because it helps you trace and outline the part of the image that you are looking to edit. Then, you can separate it so you can do certain things such as separating a product from its background.

Click down on the Lasso took and a menu will appear. The Magnetic Lasso is the last one with the magnet. Click it and go to your image and put your mouse on the edge of the area that you want to alter. Click once, release and go over the edges.

3. Magic Wand Tool

The Magic Wand is another fun tool that can be a lifesaver when editing. This is great when you want to switch up backgrounds or large color blocks. To use it, click on the Magic Wand tool in the Tools panel (it looks like a magic wand) and click on the area you want to select. Once you have the bulk of your background selected you can hold down the Shift key and click on the smaller areas of the background that your wand didn’t catch.

After you want to add a Layer Mask to your selection by clicking the Layer Mask icon. Then go to Layer, New Fill Layer and Solid Colors. From the Color Picker, you can choose a color for the background and drag your Color Fill Layer beneath your main image layer in order to make your subject visible.

4. Spot Healing Brush

This tool was created to remove imperfections such as dirt, an annoying spot, etc. You select the Healing Brush tool which looks like a band-aid. Then choose the brush sample in the options bar based on what you need.

Put your mouse over the spot you want to fix and click. Photoshop will automatically sample from around the retouched area to color match your image.

5.Blur Tool

This tool helps to remove fine lines that may be bugging you in your image. Click the rain drop icon in the tools. Bring your cursor around the area you want to smooth out and blur them. You want to make sure to not overdo it though or you can ruin the image.

If you are interested in pursuing a degree in Graphic Design and want to learn more about Grand Canyon University’s arts program within the College of Fine Arts and Production, check out our website or click the Request More Information button on this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.